Covers: better, worse, or equal?

If you are well versed in the music industry, then you should know what a cover is, and how they are a big part of the culture. For those who truly don’t know (but how could you not…) a cover is when a band does a song by another band, usually throwing their own spin on it. I do many covers all the time; they are a very enjoyable experience and help me get better at my own work. One thing I always find surprising is when I go on YouTube to watch a video of a cover and I find the comments file with bitter arguments, all around the same question: who did it better?

This is always puzzling, and I come across it all the time, the world seems to split into the “it’s better than the original” group or “this is terrible” group. You have the occasional people who like both versions, and if you’re one of those people more than half the time, good on you, you’ve got common sense. What people never realize is that a cover is usually just for the bands pleasure; something they wanted to do. Sometimes a record company tells a band to make a cover for a compilation cd (punk goes pop by fearless records is a great example) and that’s where lines blur for me; I love some of those covers but others I can’t stand.

And so today, I’m going to list some covers that are worth listening to; prepare yourselves.

Are my followers tired of me talking about We Are The In Crowd? If you answered yes, we’ll tough. They’ve technically done two covers over the past few months to hold people over until their second full album drops. The first was a cover with artist Alex Goot, where they covered Pink’s song (with the singer of Fun.,) “Just Give Me a Reason.” The cover stands fairly true I the original, with Alex singing Pinks part and Tay singing Nathan’s part. I really like the cover, there’s a good connection between the two vocalists and the music stays the same as the original, maybe just a little more “rockier.”

Second song they’ve covered is of Brand New’s “Sic Transit Gloria…Glory Fades.” The song surprised me at first, with Brand New being a rather unknown band to cover, but I can see the influence BN had on WATIC, and so the cover makes sense. The song is very good, the bassline is kicking just like in the original, and the addition of a female to the trade off vocals is astounding. The only real difference between the two songs is a lack of screaming (though Jordan’s yelling of the last line “die young and save yourself” gives me more chills than BN’s) and the female vocal addition; overall it’s a great cover.

The last mention I will give is an older cover by Green Day. On the deluxe edition of their 2009 effort “21st Century Breakdown,” is the second cover of The Who that the band has done in their career. The cover is of The Who’s first rock opera, “A Quick One While He’s Away,” which clocks in at over 8 minutes long.

A quick one? I think not.

Although, the song is almost a perfect replica of the original, only sounding more produced than the other. I say almost because they add their own little lines here and there that were not in the original. I may like the cover cause of the fact that the School of Rock I’m enrolled in did the song this past weekend, but it’s still a good cover.

Any covers you like? Feel free to leave a comment below, but take away this from what I write: a cover is usually done cause the band wants to, so the changes are not for you, there’s no need to argue how good or bad a cover is.


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